Limiting Beliefs: What They Are and How to Conquer Them


Limiting beliefs are negative thoughts about yourself that you believe to be true. Moreover, what you think about will guide your actions every day, and they can stop you from doing what’s needed to improve your life. Over time, these negative thoughts take control of your entire life.

limiting beliefs

Yeah, it’s a huge deal!

Furthermore, these negative beliefs you’ve told yourself are usually not true!

Luckily, you can conquer these beliefs that are holding you back from what you deserve! First, you’ll need to identify what you believe.

Here are some examples of common limiting beliefs:

1. Example of limiting beliefs: “I don’t deserve success or happiness.”


If you think that you don’t deserve to be happy, then you probably went through some horrible times and picked up a discouraging mindset.

But, there’s no reason to hold yourself back from happiness with negative thoughts from the past. We all make mistakes, fail, and embarrass ourselves. That’s what humans do!

Although it’s best if you leave it in the past and decide to move on with life. If you want to improve, then you need to let it go and forgive yourself. Also, forgive the people who hurt you in the past. Otherwise, you’re in for a lifetime of torment.

2. Example of limiting beliefs: “I can’t do it. This is just how my life is, and it’ll never change.”

limiting beliefs

If you think that you’ll always be the same person your whole life, then you may have a fixed mindset. People with a fixed mindset don’t see a reason to try and improve because they don’t think it’s possible. They believe they are stuck with how they are now.

When, in fact, people do change several times throughout their lives. You can become the person you want to be by developing a growth mindset. I’ve done it, and you can do it too.

3. Example of limiting beliefs: “I’m not good/smart enough yet.”


Do you dream about doing something amazing, but you don’t think you’re ready to try it?

Self-doubt and a fear of failure can cause you to procrastinate. In fact, it can stall you for years or even a lifetime!

However, you can break through its chains and take back control of your life. One of the best ways to learn is to start doing what you dream of doing. So, if you want to become a painter, start painting. Even if you’re horrible, if you like it, keep doing it!

Everyone has to go through the unskilled phase.

4. Example of limiting beliefs: “It’s all their fault that I can’t do this!”


“Life has no limitations, except the ones you make.”
– Les Brown

You can’t blame others because you didn’t fulfill your dreams. It’s best to take responsibility for your actions and try to change them. Blaming others only enforces a victim’s mindset. Furthermore, holding on to resentments or shameful experiences will prevent you from improving. So, you must let go of these events from the past. Free yourself from the pain because no one can hold you back but yourself.

5. Example of limiting beliefs: “I can’t do that, I have to do what will make my parents proud.”

limiting beliefs

As long as your dream is beneficial to society, your parents will eventually be proud of you. Even though you might not become what they wanted you to be.

They’ll have to get over it because this is your life, not theirs.

I know it’s your family, but that doesn’t give them the right to control you like a robot. You have to do what makes you happy, and no one can tell you what that is, besides you. So, find it, and do it for yourself.

6. Example of limiting beliefs: “No one in my family ever succeeded, so I won’t either”

limiting beliefs

“Never let the limitations or insecurities of others limit what is possible for you.”
– Hal Elrod

If you grew up with your parents in poverty, then you might follow in their footsteps unless you fix your detrimental mindset. Children often take the parent’s beliefs for their own, and many of them never try thinking for themselves.

So, if you’re a parent, it’s vitally important that you conquer your limiting beliefs, so your kids don’t get them as well.

This is how to overcome limiting beliefs:

1. Examine your beliefs

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels

Be honest, and ask yourself why things aren’t working out for you. What you answer is your limiting belief.

Also, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What would make you happy with yourself and your life? Why haven’t you done it yet?
  • Whenever you think about trying to achieve your dream, do you feel fear or resistance? What are you afraid will happen?
  • Have you ever proven this thought to be wrong?

2. Create new beliefs

woman conquers limiting beliefs with traveling

“If you accept a limiting belief, then it will become a truth for you.”

– Louise Hay

The more you think positive, inspiring things about yourself, the more you’ll become them. Feel the emotions of your new beliefs and accept them as your own. Repeat them daily so they can overpower your old thoughts. Eventually, you’ll develop unshakable confidence in yourself and your abilities!

A new belief won’t work until your behaviors match it. So, act as if it’s the truth. That will trick your mind into believing it, and your subconscious will make sure you become it! So, make an action plan to do the things this new version of yourself would do.

3. Then act like the “new you” every day and stick with it!

limiting beliefs

“Do the uncomfortable. Become comfortable with these acts. Prove to yourself that your limiting beliefs die a quick death if you will simply do what you feel uncomfortable doing.”

―Darren Rowse

Afterward, you need to practice being the new you every day. After a couple of months, it will become a part of you.

In short, by knowing your limiting beliefs you can overcome them. You just need to get out of your own way!

When you challenge your limiting beliefs, you’ll discover that they were just lies that prevented you from living a fulfilled life. But, with your new encouraging expectations, you’ll change your life for the better!

limiting beliefs

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About Author

Hi, I'm Sheryl Barnes the writer here at Motivated Progress. I write about productivity, goals, psychology of the mind, and ways to enhance your inner self.

(4) Comments

  1. Kathy Hayes says:

    I liked the article on limiting thoughts. Our internal dialogue can be very toxic. Well done.

    1. Thanks! I agree, its a good thing to be aware of it.

  2. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog
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    1. Thanks! Glad to have you here! I post every Monday 🙂

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